Go behind the wooden gates of the Writers' Compound in Key West to discover the untold story of four of the most celebrated America authors in the 20th century.


Based on anecdotes, events, and conversations gleaned from  first-person interviews with other writers and friends who knew them best, The Writers' Compound reveals both the good times and the bitter resentments that confronted these  writers on their island paradise. 

"The soul of Key West is made up of the characters who blazed the trail to the end of the road. We only follow in their wake."

-- Jimmy Buffett 

The Writers

John Ciardi: An admitted grouch whose volatile temper and sarcastic wit could eviscerate anyone in his line of fire, but who could also be “extremely entertaining and funny and gregarious.”

Ralph Ellison: A complicated man who may or may not have been homophobic, but openly admitted that he accepted gays “as long as they were not obvious.”

John Hersey: Whose distinguished career as a Pulitzer Prize winning author was marred by charges of plagiarism – a charge he reluctantly admitted to but never really accepted.

Richard Wilbur: An unabashed free spirit who embraced an island that he found (like the movie Bonnie and Clyde) “morally questionable, but, aesthetically, very pleasing.”

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Jack L. Roberts is a former, longtime editor at Scholastic  Inc. and author of more than two dozen nonfiction books for young readers, published by Lerner Books,  Benchmark  Education, and many 

others. He is also the founder of Curious Kids Press, an educational publishing company focusing on books about countries and cultures around the world for young readers. 


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